A BMA petition calling on the Welsh Government to commit to a rescue package for general practice has gathered almost 9,000 signatures – and is growing fast.
As part of its Save our Surgeries campaign, launched in the summer, the union warned in a report that the profession is in crisis and that eight in 10 GPs feel they cannot provide quality safe care because of their excessive workloads, diminishing workforce, and rising demands.
The report also said Wales is left with just 2,324 GPs, with only 1,445 working full-time and over a quarter (26.6%) are planning to leave the profession in the near future.
Now the BMA wales is urging people to sign a petition to amplify its call for a rescue package to save general practice from collapsing. The petition has so far gathered 8,967 signatures and is growing hour by hour.
Petitions with more than 10,000 signatures will be considered for a debate in the Senedd.
The petition said: ‘General practice in Wales is under significant and growing strain. GP numbers are declining, demand is rising, and practices are struggling to recruit and retain staff.
‘General practice is being forced to try and cope with inadequate resources, an unsustainable workload, and a workforce under pressure across the whole of Wales, with some areas in crisis.
‘Current inadequate capacity is a product of longstanding workload, workforce, and well-being issues, which correlate to the chronic underfunding of general medical services.
‘By taking one minute to sign this petition, you can amplify our calls for the Welsh Government to provide a rescue package for general practice.’
Shortly after, the BMA was told that the pay offer made by the Welsh Government to GP practices could be withdrawn to ‘offset other deficits’.
Practice managers in Wales have said the absence of a financial agreement on the GP contract has made giving staff pay rises ‘difficult’ – triggering fears employees will leave general practice for better paid jobs in other sectors.